Backpack Stony Ridge in the Trinity Alps

Rate this Adventure Lake Tahoe Stony Ridge Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking

  • Skill Level:

    Advanced

  • Season:

    Summer

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    16.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    4500 Feet

Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Backpacking the Trinity Alps takes you through one of the more isolated and picturesque wildernesses in California. With high alpine lakes and beautiful mountain peaks.

The Trinity Alps has miles and miles of beautiful trails, but one of the more stunning sections is the Four Lakes Loop. There are two main trail heads that access the trail. Long Canyon Trail and Stony Ridge Trail both are both beautiful but Stony Ridge is the more popular route yet strenuous. 

To get to the Stony Ridge trail head drive north out of Weaverville up Highway 3. A turnoff will say "Stony Ridge trail head." Follow the dirt road to Stuart Fork Bridge and continue following the dirt road about 7 miles to the trail head. 

The trail its self is a total of 16.5  miles. It starts out at around 4000 ft and quickly climbs up the first 500 ft in one mile. After that it's a continuous 3.5 miles stretch of switchbacks climbing a another few thousand feet, they'll give you some epic views of the Trinity mountain range. 

After that it takes you to the "red mountains" where you follow a meadow (that have some decent campsites throughout it but some of them were pretty exposed) then you'll come across "Stonewall pass," the highest point of the trail at 7,500 ft, 4.5 miles from the  "Stony Ridge trail head." The trail will continue on to "Sliago meadows" and "granite mountains" but it will add about 2 miles (totally worth the views.) There is camping available near the base of Sliago peak or Deer Lake. (Deer Lake is very exposed and isn't recommend on windy days.) 

For the best camp spots continue the 2 miles to Diamond Lake. Also be sure to look up the many side trails and rock climbing opportunities that are along the main trail (especially Sliago Peak) also a friendly reminder to please pack out all your trash and "Leave No Trace." Step safely and have a great time! 

Pack List

  • Wilderness permit(you can get these at any local ranger station)
  • Campfire permit (needed for any camp stove) can be gotten online and printed out or at any local fire station 
  • Sleeping bag and pad (I'd recommend 45 degrees or lower)
  • Tent
  • Water filter 
  • Hat/beanie 
  • Windbreaker 
  • Waterproof boots 
  • Poncho/rain cover for backpack 
  • Towel(plenty of lakes to swim in)
  • Extra socks (you'll never regret having them)
  • Camera! (You'll regret not bringing one if not) 
  • Any basic backpacking gear that you prefer 
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